Canada's plastics and chemicals trade associations said Feb. 25 they're moving ahead with a merger, announcing that the Canadian Plastics Industry Association will stop operating as an independent group and a new plastics division will be created within the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.
The two associations said they're motivated to make the changes to better respond to questions about plastics waste in the environment and political issues like product bans, saying: "The challenges for plastics require even greater collaboration."
Initially, the groups had announced in November that they were in talks with the goal of making CPIA, based in Mississauga, Ontario, part of the CIAC, and this latest statement makes that official.
CPIA Chair Joel Rudolph said in a statement that a unified group can more effectively advocate against plastic bans.
"We're excited to move forward with this transaction because the combination of the two organizations will deliver a stronger, clearer and more unified voice for plastics at a time when unity is needed by the industry to educate Canadians and different levels of government on the value of plastics and policy alternatives to product bans," said Rudolph, who is also vice president, strategy and business development, for Farnell Packaging Ltd. in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
The statement said members of both organizations ratified the change unanimously. They said details of CPIA's dissolution will be released over the next few months.
Rudolph said in an email that staffing details are still being worked out.
"The CPIA board has been focused on communicating the benefits of the merger, talking to our members and getting their approval to move forward," he said. "As a result of the vote last week, we have the full support of members and now we will be working with our colleagues at CIAC to address the staffing needs of the new organization as soon as possible."
Ed Bechberger, chair of the Ottawa, Ontario-based CIAC, said the two groups want to promote responsible management and reduction of plastic waste and a "balanced approach to plastics and its value to society."
"By combining forces, the new entity will promote responsible plastic production in Canada and work toward reducing and eliminating plastic waste from the environment, all in support of a robust Canadian economy," their statement said.